Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency, in the event of victory may take steps to a more active involvement of the country in global processes. According to Vice-President Joseph Biden, if Romney wins, Washington may initiate several military conflicts. This theory is supported by other facts.
But is this really the case? What are the real views of the presidential candidate of the United States from the Republican Party on the world's foreign policy?
Mitt Romney in his campaign speeches makes clear emphasis on criticism of the policies of the current President Barack Obama - and, in particular, on criticism of Obama's foreign policy moves. Romney accuses Obama of indecision in dealing with North Korea, China, Iran and Syria, saying that these countries have turned to be the U.S. foreign-policy problems. Gradually, in the election campaign the topic of foreign policy comes to the fore - this, in particular, was said by Jim Malone in his article on Voice of America.
Romney focuses on the fact that the United States should play a more active role in the world. He argues from the election stands that the US cannot lose a sense of rightness in their power to support the role of a powerful state and achieve its goals. The Washington Post's Neil Jackson, comparing Obama's policies to those of Mitt Romney, said that a very important thing will depend on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November of 2012, namely, whether there will be substantial reductions in nuclear forces in the U.S. and Russia. Romney was once an opponent of START-3 treaty and promised, if elected, to spend more on defense.
Romney, however, like Obama, called for the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The difference between their positions is that Obama insists on a substantial reduction in the number of the American troops in Afghanistan in the next year, while Romney may listen to the opinion of the military from the Pentagon who are in no hurry to define specific dates. Romney also was in favor of the implementation of the supply of U.S. weapons to Syria - to support the rebels to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. Speaking about Iran, Romney was in favor of a strike at the country after the emergence of the information that may suggest that the Islamic Republic is close to the creation of the necessary means to obtain nuclear weapons, while Obama plans to use armed force only when Iran construct the bomb.
The U.S. policy toward Russia and America's allies in Eastern Europe has a special place in the foreign policy of the republican candidate. Romney classifies Poland and Israel as real friends of the United States, and in the case of Russia and Cuba he proposes harsher actions. Romney, at least in words, is much more emphatic in his statements about the foreign policy of the United States than the current president. He calls for more action, more stringent policies against those countries that the US does not consider friendly, and for more active support of the international partners. But now the White House is headed by Barack Obama, and while his foreign policy is not as straightforward and categorical as Romney's, the Obama administration's policies are anything but peaceful.
In early August of 2012 Barack Obama announced the conditions under which the United States would intervene in a military conflict in Syria. According to him, the U.S. would go to war in the event that Damascus uses chemical weapons or begins their relocation. How likely is this outcome? The fact that Syria has chemical weapons is supported, in part, by the fact that the Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi has previously announced that chemical weapons will be used by the Syrian armed forces in the case of foreign aggression. In light of the fact that Syria is not a signatory of the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons, there is a possibility that it is in the possession of these weapons and under certain conditions may use them.
However, a member of the scientific council of the Moscow Carnegie Center Alexei Malashenko has a different opinion - he believes that the words of the Syrian officials about having chemical weapons are no more than a bluff. Only the Soviet Union could in time provide these weapons to Syria, but it hardly dared to take such a risky step. Chief Editor of the National Defense Igor Korotchenko also doubts that Syria has chemical weapons because such statements are only estimates and are not supported by obvious facts. However, in the report by the Canadian Centre for nonproliferation, James Martin said that Syria has a fairly large stocks of mustard gas and sarin, and possibly gas VX. Korotchenko believes that it is nothing more than disinformation, similar to the data on the presence of chemical weapons in Iraq at the time, which caused the U.S. and its allies to go to war in Iraq. Maybe the U.S. is now looking for a reason to start a war, especially since Washington has made it clear that in case of a decision to start an armed conflict with Syria, America would not consider the opinion of the UN Security Council.
As for a possible war with Iran, the military expenditures for 2013 include specific articles for this operation - this was stated by a Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. The bill on military expenditures for the coming year includes a political declaration on the war, as well as specific plans for the transfer of power in the region. Kucinich said that while the document probably does not authorize the war, it is obvious that it is preparing the U.S. to a war.
The U.S. military activity is observed not only in the Middle East, but also in the Asia-Pacific. On August 23, 2012 The Wall Street Journal reported that Washington is going to place another early warning radar of missile threat to Japan, as well as in the Philippines. Madeleine Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense, in spring stated that the U.S. has missile shield plans in South Korea, Australia and Japan similar to the deployment of such systems in Europe. American historian Daniel Larison believes that the U.S. foreign policy priorities shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific to contain China. In this connection, Larison suggests, Washington should pursue a more flexible and friendly policy towards Russia in order to prevent a union between Moscow and Beijing.
If the U.S. is preparing for another war, is the economy ready for it and will it be able to withstand another "small victorious war"?
A bill approved by the House of Representatives has allowed the allocation of $682 billion dollars on military in 2013 - a half billion more than this year. American economist Jeffrey Sachs says that today's military superiority does not play the role that it did in the last century, and other threats moved to first place there: environmental, social and political. Positive political goals were achieved in none of the regions where the United States was in a war in recent years. Especially damaging is the arms race in the time of a global economic crisis.
Now the military spending of the United States is greater than that of Russia, China, NATO, India and Japan combined. Is it worth in the face of a growing budget deficit to begin yet another costly military operation that will lead to an even greater increase in defense spending and, therefore, reduce the cost of real social programs within the country?
Back in January of 2012, Congressman Ron Paul of the Republican Party in an interview with Voice of America said that a war is one of the major flaws in the U.S. economy. The middle class, the foundation of America's economic life, is shrinking, the budget deficit is growing, and the U.S., it seems, follows the example of the Soviet Union, interfering in many conflicts abroad. The fate of the USSR is well known. Does the same fate await the U.S. if it does not stop increasing its budget deficit in military spending? The question is rhetorical.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now